Fred McPherson's Nature Journaling

As a diligent journal keeper for over 50 years, Fred McPherson embraced the nature journaling process as a powerful way to enhance his observation, memory, curiosity and appreciation of the natural world. Fred’s methods evolved throughout his naturalist career. He documented his interactions with his surroundings through journaling, photography and videography. His disciplined nature observations and continuous reflections formed the foundation of his understanding and connection with the life, land, and water of the San Lorenzo Valley. 

“[My] field journal is a reflection of the various kinds of activities, facets of life that I am involved in as part of my life story...Perhaps I can paint a written - photographic picture of my life that will permit me to fill the pieces that I don’t see otherwise.” 

Fred’s lifelong nature journal series contains over 3,000 pages spread across over 30 Volumes. Each of his volumes were labeled on the binding “Fred McPherson Field Journal” followed by the year and the page numbers included in that specific volume.He had a standard header and entry format that he used with each journal entry with the purpose of making it easy for himself, and others, to navigate. This augmentation of decades of discoveries represents a lifelong “stream of consciousness experiment” (McPherson, 1986). Analyzing Fred’s writing not only provides insight on how to better maintain a field journal, but also presents the opportunity to gain exposure to the wisdom and philosophy he gained, overtime.

Learn more about Fred, and his nature journaling, by clicking on the links to the left.